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Die ekonomiese kwessies rondom GMO's

Die ekonomiese kwessies rondom GMO's


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Dit is een in 'n reeks verhale; besoek The Daily Meal Special Report: GMO's (geneties gemodifiseerde organismes) vir meer.

Of geneties gemodifiseerde voedsel in massa vervaardig moet word of nie, is een van die mees omstrede kwessies oor voedsel en openbare beleid van ons tyd. Sommige lande het hul invoer verbied of ernstig beperk. In 2011, Hongaarse amptenare het meer as 'n duisend hektaar koringgewasse verbrand wat vermoedelik geneties gemodifiseerde sade bevat. In die Verenigde State het ondernemings met 'n gevestigde belang in die vervaardiging van GM -sade hul teenwoordigheid bekend gemaak. In 2013 het die opposisieveldtog teen die Washington State -stembriefinitiatief 522, wat GM -voedsel sou vereis dat 'n identifiserende etiket gedra moes word, meer as 20 miljoen dollar aan bydraes ontvang, waarvan twee derdes afkomstig is van vyf groot multinasionale korporatiewe entiteite. Die wetenskap het vir 'n oomblik opsy gesit, en die ekonomiese impak van GM -vervaardiging speel 'n kritieke rol in die voortgang van hierdie debat.

Diegene wat geneties gemodifiseerde voedsel ondersteun, het kennis geneem van die belangrike rol wat GM voedsel kan speel in die stryd teen wanvoeding in die ontwikkelende wêreld; watter, volgens die Verenigde Nasies se Voedsel- en Landbou -organisasie, raak byna een uit elke agt mense op aarde. Jayson Lusk, beweer die professor van die Regents en Willard Sparks, voorsitter van die departement landbou -ekonomie aan die Oklahoma State University, dat baie wêreldkwessies van ons tyd gehelp kan word deur die gebruik van biotegnologie.

"Die wêreld staan ​​voor baie uitdagings," sê Lusk. '(Dit sluit in) 'n groeiende wêreldbevolking, klimaatsverandering en droogtes in baie dele van die VSA, om maar net 'n paar te noem. Biotegnologie en genetiese ingenieurswese bevat nie al die antwoorde nie, maar alle gereedskap moet op die tafel wees om hierdie maatskaplike uitdagings volhoubaar aan te pak. "

Op huishoudelike vlak sien voorstanders van GM-produkte die geleentheid om gewasbestande gewasse te ontwikkel wat minder kos om te vervaardig. Hierdie laer voedselkoste sal die boere bevoordeel en op sy beurt die koste van voedsel vir die kleinhandelverbruiker verlaag.

"In die VSA word ongeveer 90% van alle akkermielies en sojabone beplant met GE-variëteite," sê Lusk. Die feit dat boere gewilliglik GE -variëteite met so 'n vinnige snit aangeneem het (selfs al betaal hulle 'n premieprys), toon hul oortuiging dat dit in hul beste belang is om dit te doen. soja en katoen het effens hoër winsgewendheid geniet. ”

Nie almal is dit eens dat GM -produkte 'n netto pluspunt vir verbruikers en boere is nie. Jeffrey Smith, die stigter -uitvoerende direkteur van The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), voer aan dat die syfers eintlik toon dat GM -produkte 'n negatiewe uitwerking op boere en plaaslike voedselproduksie het.

"Die verklaarde regverdiging vir die bevordering van GMO's in die eerste Bush -administrasie was dat dit Amerikaanse uitvoer en Amerikaanse oorheersing van landbou sou verhoog," skryf Smith. 'Die teenoorgestelde het gebeur. Europa het sy deure gesluit vir GM -mielies, die uitvoer van soja het gekrimp en die VSA het miljarde bestee om die pryse van die GM -gewasse wat niemand wou hê nie, te verhoog.

Een van die redes waarom die teenoorgestelde partye in die GM -debat nie met mekaar praat nie, het te doen met hoe die data gelees word. Binnelandse boerderysubsidies in die VSA speel 'n groot rol om die boer ten minste gedeeltelik geïsoleer te hou teen skommelinge in die mark tuis en in die buiteland. Dit verduidelik hoe sekere binnelandse landbouprodukte teen 'n volgehoue ​​tempo geproduseer kan word, selfs al voldoen die markvraag nie aan die huidige produksievlakke nie.

Die demografie van die boerdery is nog 'n verklaring vir die uiteenlopende sienings oor huidige ekonomiese syfers wat verband hou met GM -boerdery. Terwyl die syfers van die Census of Agriculture in 2007 toon dat 87 persent van die plase in die VSA 'familiebesit' is, kan die term misleidend wees. Volgens 'n EPA -verslag oor Amerikaanse boerderydemografie, "Baie van die land se grootste landbou -ondernemings is in familiebesit."

Boonop is die meetbare neiging na onproportionele produksiekonsentrasies opgemerk. In die EPA -verslag word opgemerk dat 2007 USDA -syfers toon dat "slegs 187,816 van die 2,2 miljoen plase in hierdie land 63 persent van die verkope van landbouprodukte uitmaak."

Wat van die sogenaamde “mom and pop” kleinboere en ander produsente van organiese goedere? Hoe word hulle beïnvloed deur hierdie breër neigings, en kan dit spesifiek baat by die aanneming van GM -sade?

Op makro -ekonomiese vlak kan dit voorkom asof die aanvaarding van GM -gewasse in sommige gevalle koste verlaag en produksie verhoog. Die argument teen die aanneming van GMO dui egter dikwels op 'n negatiewe impak op kleinskaalse landbou.

"Onafhanklike navorsing bevestig dat die gemiddelde boer se wins nie toeneem met GMO's nie," skryf Smith. 'En talle voorbeelde van geslote markte en onderdrukte pryse het gevolg op die bekendstelling van geneties gemodifiseerde gewasse wêreldwyd. In Hawaii; GM -papaja is byvoorbeeld deur Japan geblokkeer. Pryse het gedaal van $ 1,29 per kilo tot ongeveer $ 0,80, en ondanks die verhoogde papaja -verbruik in die Verenigde State, het die produksie van papaja in Hawaii met 40 persent gedaal.

In 'n verklaring aan The Daily Meal merk die Northeast Organic Farming Organization of New York op dat dit moontlik is om 'n verhoogde risiko vir besmetting van genetiese inhoud met geneties gemanipuleerde gene toe te laat saam met nie-GM-sade.

"Deur die natuurlike bestuiwingsproses reis gene kilometers ver en kombineer hulle met gewasse in 'n plaaslike streek," gaan die verklaring voort. “As GE-gene in die lug is, neem die risiko toe dat gesertifiseerde organiese of nie-GE-gewasse besmet word. Vir organiese boere beteken GE -besmetting dat die gewas nie meer organies verkoop kan word nie, wat 'n boer uit sy mark sluit.

Dit beteken dat die blote bestaan ​​van GM-gewasse in die nabyheid van nie-GM-gewasse in sommige gevalle die keuse kan uitskakel vir diegene wat nie seker is van hul veiligheid nie, of om die een of ander rede nie wil koop nie.

Die debat oor die ekonomiese voordele en moontlike gevare van die bekendstelling van GM -voedsel op die mark, sal beslis nog baie jare 'n hewige saak wees.


Geneties gemodifiseerde organismes en voedselsekerheid in Suider -Afrika: raaisel en diskoers

Die belangrikheid van voedselsekerheid en voeding word erken in die Suider -Afrikaanse streek en in baie gemeenskappe, wêreldwyd. Die bereiking van voedselsekerheid in Suider -Afrikaanse lande word egter deur baie faktore beïnvloed, waaronder ongunstige omgewingstoestande, plae en siektes. Wetenskaplikes is dringend op soek na innoverende strategieë om gewasproduksie te optimaliseer en uitdagings te bekamp wat die bereiking van voedselsekerheid beveg. In die landbou sluit strategieë in om gewasproduksie te verhoog, maar nie beperk nie tot verbeterde gewasvariëteite, boerderypraktyke, voorligtingsdienste, besproeiingsdienste, meganisasie, inligtingstegnologie, die gebruik van kunsmis en landbouchemikalieë. Net so belangrik is genetiese modifikasie (GM) tegnologie, wat nuwe vooruitsigte bied om probleme met voedselsekerheid aan te spreek. Sedert die bekendstelling van geneties gemodifiseerde gewasse (GMO's) drie dekades gelede, was dit egter 'n onderwerp van openbare gesprek oor die hele wêreld, opvallend so in die Suider -Afrikaanse streek. Dit is ongeag die bewyse dat die aanplant van GMO's die inkomste van die boer, die ekonomiese toegang tot voedsel en die verhoogde verdraagsaamheid van gewasse teenoor verskillende biotiese en abiotiese stres positief beïnvloed. Hierdie artikel kyk na die kwessies rondom die aanvaarding van GMO's in Suider -Afrika en die gebrek daaraan, die diskoers en die potensiaal daarvan om by te dra tot die bereiking van voedselsekerheid vir die huidige sowel as toekomstige geslagte.

Sleutelwoorde: GMO's Genetiese ingenieurswese Voedselsekerheid in Suider -Afrika.


Sosio-ekonomiese kwessies word vals gelykgestel aan 'GMO's'

Al word 'GMO's' gereeld die skuld gegee vir 'n magdom ekonomiese, sosiale en politieke kwessies, is hierdie kwessies nie uitsluitlik van genetiese ingenieurswese nie:

  • Beide konvensioneel geteelde (nie-GMO) en geneties gemanipuleerde (GE) gewasse kan gepatenteer word.
  • Boere teken gereeld kontrakte met saadmaatskappye, vir sowel nie-GMO- as GE-saad.
  • Onkruiddoders word nie net met 'GMO's' gebruik nie. Onkruiddoder-verdraagsame gewasvariëteite kan GE of nie-GMO wees.
  • Groot landboumaatskappye oorheers oor landbousisteme, aangesien sommige GE, nie-GMO, en saad ontwikkel en verkoop wat in organiese boerdery gebruik kan word.
  • Korporasies met GE, nie-GMO en organiese belange huur lobbygroepe om die landbou- en handelsbeleid te beïnvloed.

Kommer oor GMO's

'N Toenemende hoeveelheid navorsing dui daarop dat geneties gemodifiseerde organismes (meer algemeen na verwys as GMO's) meer skade as goed kan doen as dit kom by die menslike gesondheid en die gesondheid van die omgewing. In 'n onlangse studie van die Iowa State University, byvoorbeeld, is bevind dat Monsanto se geneties gemanipuleerde mielies moontlik gelei het tot die opkoms van plaagdoderweerstandige 'superbugs', wat kan veroorsaak dat sommige boere selfs harder plaagdoders op hul landerye gebruik.

Lees verder om meer te wete te kom oor hierdie en ander kwessies wat rooi vlae oor GMO's laat lig.

WAAROM IS DAAR BETREKKING OOR GMOS?
GMO's is organismes wat geskep is deur die toepassing van transgeniese, gene-splitsingstegnieke wat deel uitmaak van biotegnologie. Daar word ook na hierdie metodes om gene te beweeg verwys as genetiese ingenieurswese (GE).

Hierdie relatief nuwe wetenskap laat toe dat DNA (genetiese materiaal) van een spesie na 'n ander spesie oorgedra word, wat transgeniese organismes skep met kombinasies van gene van plante, diere, bakterieë en selfs virale genepoele. Die kombinasie van gene van verskillende spesies wat in die verlede nog nooit gene gedeel het nie, maak GMO's en GE -gewasse uniek. Dit is onmoontlik om sulke organismes te skep deur middel van tradisionele kruistelingmetodes.

As gevolg van hierdie uniekheid, is daar baie onbekendes oor geneties gemanipuleerde (GE) gewasse en GMO's.

AGTERGROND
Deur te beweer dat voedsel uit GE-gewasse 'aansienlik gelykstaande' is aan voedsel uit gewasse wat nie uit GE is nie, het die Amerikaanse regering GE-gewasse byna 20 jaar gelede vir die eerste keer goedgekeur, afhangend van die studies wat deur die maatskappye verskaf is wat die nuwe tegnologie ontwikkel het. Die Verenigde State het goedkeurings aangeneem, hoewel daar nog nooit menslike proewe is uitgevoer om die veiligheid en allergeenheid van hierdie nuwe proteïene te bepaal nie.

Regerings buite die Verenigde State het met meer omsigtigheid te werk gegaan en verhoed dat GE -gewasse geplant word weens uiters kommer oor die gevolge van die omgewing en/of voedselveiligheid. Sedert GE -gewasse die eerste keer in die Verenigde State goedgekeur is, het voedselallergieë dramaties gestyg, in pas met die penetrasie van GE -gewasmarkte. Volgens 'n gegewensbrief wat Oktober 2008 deur die Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gepubliseer is, het die voorkoms van voedselallergieë in die Verenigde State met 18 persent toegeneem onder kinders onder die ouderdom van 18 jaar van 1997 tot 2007. Hoewel daar geen direkte verband was nie 'n Verslag van die Pew -inisiatief oor voedsel en biotegnologie dui aan dat bestaande navorsing fokus op bekende allergeen, soos grondboontjies en melk, en daar is byna geen studies oor die allergene van nuwe proteïene wat moontlik deur voedsel wat deur biotegnologie geskep word, ondersoek nie.

ONBEVOEGDE GEVOLGE
'N Belangrike probleem fokus op onbedoelde gevolge. Daar is byvoorbeeld reeds 'n paar groot probleme met GE -gewasse. Die verspreiding van weerstandbiedende onkruide het die gebruik van onkruiddoders aansienlik laat toeneem, die gevolge vir menslike gesondheid en die omgewing verhoog en die boerkoste verhoog. Baie GE-gewasse is ook meer geneig tot plantsiektes, en sommige ly aan mikrovoedingstekorte weens subtiele veranderinge in grondmikrobiese gemeenskappe.

Daar is toenemende bewyse dat GMO's van GE -gewasse verskyn waar dit nooit gebruik is nie. Besmetting is 'n werklike bedreiging, veral in gewasse wat maklik kruisbestuiwer word, soos mielies en canola.

Intussen bevestig meer en meer studies dat daar werklike kommer bestaan ​​oor die gebruik daarvan. Die volgende kyk na sommige van die kommer wat na vore kom.

OMGEWINGSBESONDERHEDE
Impak van plaagdodergebruik, opbrengste
In November 2009 het The Organic Center 'n kritieke kwessieverslag uitgereik oor die impak van die aanneming van GE -koring-, sojaboon- en katoengewasse op die Amerikaanse plaagdodergebruik. Die opvallendste bevinding: met die gebruik van GE-gewasse was die toediening van 'n ekstra 318,4 miljoen pond plaagdoders in die Verenigde State gedurende die eerste 13 jaar van hul kommersiële gebruik (1996-2008).

Gegewens uit die jaarlikse opnames oor plaagdoders van 1996 tot 2008 wat deur die USDA se National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) gedoen is, het getoon dat Bt -mielies en katoen die gebruik van insekdoders oor die 13 jaar verminder het met 64,2 miljoen pond. Onkruiddoder-verdraagsame gewasse het die gebruik van onkruiddoders egter gedurende die 13 jaar met 'n totaal van 382,6 miljoen pond verhoog. Onkruiddoder-verdraagsame sojabone het die gebruik van onkruiddoders met 351 miljoen pond verhoog, wat 92 persent van die totale toename in die gebruik van onkruiddoders in die drie onkruiddoder-verdraagsame gewasse uitmaak.

Die toename van 318,4 miljoen pond in die totale gebruik van plaagdoders verteenwoordig gemiddeld 'n bykomende 0,25 pond aktiewe bestanddeel vir elke GE -eienskap wat gedurende die eerste 13 jaar van kommersiële gebruik geplant is.

Alhoewel die algehele gebruik van plaagdoders in die eerste drie jaar van kommersiële bekendstelling van GE -gewasse afgeneem het, het die gebruik van plaagdoders in 2007 met 20 % en 27 % in 2008 toegeneem. tot oormatige afhanklikheid van die onkruiddoder, en inkrementele verlagings in die gemiddelde toedieningshoeveelheid onkruiddoders wat op nie-GE-gewas-akker toegedien word.

GMO's bly in waterweë: 'N Studie deur die ekoloog van die Universiteit van Notre Dame, Jennifer Tank en kollegas wat in 2010 gepubliseer is, het bevind dat strome dwarsdeur die Midde -Weste selfs ses maande na die oes transgeniese materiaal van mielie -oesprodukte ontvang. In 'n publikasie uit 2007 in die Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), het Tank en ander navorsers getoon dat transgeniese materiaal van mielie stuifmeel, blare en kolbe in werklikheid die strome in die landbou Midde -Ooste binnedring en daarna stroomaf vervoer kan word water liggaam. Hul latere studie, gepubliseer in die 12 Oktober 2010, uitgawe van PNAS, ondersoek die lot en volharding van die materiaal en die gepaardgaande Cry1Ab insekdodende proteïen in 'n opname van 217 stroomplekke in die noordweste van Indiana ses maande na die oes. "Ons studie toon die volharding en verspreiding van gewasbyprodukte en gepaardgaande transgeniese materiaal in strome regdeur die mieliebelt -landskap, selfs lank na die oes," het die navorsers afgesluit.

GE in die natuur: Navorsers aan die Universiteit van Arkansas, die Noord -Dakota State University en die Environmental Protection Agency het bewyse gevind dat GE -gewasplante in die natuur kan oorleef en gedy. Op grond van die bevindings tydens die 95ste jaarvergadering van die Ecological Society of America, het wetenskaplikes berig dat hulle gevind het dat meer as 80 persent van die canola -plante wat uit meer as 1 000 myl paaie langs Noord -Dakota geneem is, per ongeluk geneties gemanipuleer is om onkruiddoders, óf glifosaat, te verdra. of glufonisaat. Boonop bevat twee van die geanaliseerde plante twee transgene, wat daarop dui dat hulle kruisbestuif het. "Hierdie waarnemings het belangrike implikasies vir die ekologie en die bestuur van inheemse en onkruidspesies, sowel as vir die bestuur van biotegnologiese produkte in die VSA," het die navorsers afgesluit.

Weerstand teen insekplae: In 2010 het Monsanto aan die goedkeuringskomitee vir genetiese ingenieurswese in Indië gerapporteer dat pienk bolwurms, 'n algemene insekplaag wat van katoen voed, weerstand teen sy GE -katoenvariëteit Bollgard I in Gujarat, Indië, ontwikkel het. Die onderneming het opgemerk dat dit die weerstand tydens veldmonitering in die katoenseisoen van 2009 opgemerk het. Die GE -gewas bevat die Cry1Ac -geen wat afkomstig is van die bakterie Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt).

Weerstand teen onkruid: 'N Verslag van 2010 wat deur die National Academies' National Research Council uitgereik is, waarsku dat GE -gewasse hul doeltreffendheid kan verloor en meer onkruidprobleme kan ontwikkel namate onkruid hul eie weerstand teen glifosaat ontwikkel, tensy boere ander bewese onkruid- en insekbestuurspraktyke gebruik. Dit het tot dusver berig dat ten minste nege onkruidspesies in die Verenigde State sedert die bekendstelling van GE -gewasse weerstand teen glifosaat ontwikkel het.

Afrondingsbestande onkruid: 'N New York Times-artikel deur William Newman en Andrew Pollack (4 Mei 2010) berig oor die toename in superkruide wat bestand is teen Round-up.

Onkruiddoderweerstand: 'N Opname deur navorsers van die Departement Gewaswetenskappe, Universiteit van Illinois in Urbana, het bevind dat Amaranthus tuberculatus (meer algemeen bekend as waterpomp), 'n groot onkruid in gewaslande in die Midde -Wes -Verenigde State, verskeie weerstand teen onkruiddoders ontwikkel het, insluitend na glifosaat (Roundup). In hul navorsingsartikel wat in die Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry gepubliseer is, het hulle opgemerk: “Dit lyk asof onkruiddoderweerstand by A. tuberculatus op die drumpel staan ​​om 'n onbeheerbare probleem by sojabone te word.” Hulle het bygevoeg: 'Op grond van die geskiedenis van A. tuberculatus, is daar geen rede om te verwag dat dit nie weerstand teen glufosinaat sal ontwikkel as hierdie onkruiddoder wyd gebruik word nie. As dit gebeur, en geen nuwe onkruiddoders na opkoms van sojabone gekommersialiseer word nie, is die produksie van sojabone moontlik nie prakties in baie Amerikaanse velde in die Midde-Weste nie. ” Minstens 21 onkruidsoorte het weerstand teen die onkruiddoder glifosaat (Roundup) ontwikkel, en sommige onkruide ontwikkel ook weerstand teen alternatiewe onkruiddoders, volgens artikels wat in die Mei-Junie 2011-uitgawe van Weed Science gepubliseer is. Navorsers aan die Universiteit van Georgia in Tifton het byvoorbeeld verskeie weerstande in Palmer amarant teen glifosaat en die onkruiddoder pyrithiobac gevind. Daarbenewens het navorsing die weerstand van Italiaanse raaigras in hazelnootboorde in Oregon bevestig teen glufosinaat ammonium, 'n nie-selektiewe breëspektrum onkruiddoder. Nog 'n studie bevestig die eerste gedokumenteerde glifosaatbestande Johnson grasbiotipe in West Memphis, AR. 'Die kwessie van onkruiddoderweerstand word ernstig', skryf William K. Vencill, tydskrifredakteur, en voeg by: 'Dit versprei verder as waar onkruidwetenskaplikes dit al voorheen gesien het.'

MOONTLIKE GESONDHEIDSBESONDERHEDE
Orgaanversaking (rotte): 'n Studie wat die gevolge van GE -voedsel op soogdiergesondheid ontleed, het drie GE -koringvariëteite verbind met orgaanversaking by rotte. Die navorsers onder leiding van Gilles-Eric Séralini van CRIIGEN en die Universiteit van Caen in Frankryk het nuwe newe-effekte gevind wat verband hou met GE-mielieverbruik wat seks- en dikwels dosisafhanklik was. Hierdie effekte kom meestal voor by die nier en lewer, terwyl ander effekte opgemerk is in die hart, byniere, milt en hematopoietiese stelsel. Die navorsers het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat hierdie data tekens van hepato-renale toksisiteit beklemtoon, moontlik as gevolg van die nuwe plaagdoders wat spesifiek is vir elke GE-koring.

Glifosaat en geboorte afwykings: Navorsing wat op 9 Augustus 2010 gepubliseer is, bevestig dat onkruiddoders wat op glifosaat gebaseer is, misvormings in padda- en hoenderembryo's veroorsaak by dosisse wat aansienlik laer is as dié wat in landboubespuiting gebruik word en ver onder die maksimum residuvlakke in produkte wat tans in die Europese Unie goedgekeur is. Glifosaat is die aktiewe bestanddeel in Roundup. Die navorsing is gepubliseer deur navorsers onder leiding van professor Andrés Carrasco, direkteur van die Laboratory of Molecular Embryology aan die Universiteit van Buenos Aires Mediese Skool en lid van Argentinië se Nasionale Raad vir Wetenskaplike en Tegniese Navorsing. "Die bevindings in die laboratorium is verenigbaar met misvormings wat waargeneem is by mense wat tydens swangerskap aan glifosaat blootgestel is," het Carrasco op 'n perskonferensie tydens die sesde Europese konferensie van GMO -vrye streke gesê. Hy het verduidelik dat die meeste veiligheidsdata oor glifosaatonkruiddoders en GE -soja deur die industrie verskaf is en nie onafhanklik is nie. Carrasco het ondersoek ingestel na die embrio -effekte van glifosaat nadat hy berigte gesien het van hoë geboortedefekte in die platteland van Argentinië, waar GE Roundup Ready -sojabone verbou word in groot monokulture wat gereeld uit vliegtuie gespuit word.

Impak op dieregesondheid. Navorsers uit Griekeland het gerapporteer dat dieretoksikologiese studies van GE -voedsel aandui dat hulle giftige lewer-, pankreas-, nier- en reproduktiewe effekte kan hê. Die gebruik van rekombinante groeihormone of die uitdrukking daarvan by diere moet ook weer ondersoek word, aangesien dit bewys het dat dit IGF-1 verhoog, wat kanker kan bevorder.

Ernstige gevare vir menslike gesondheid. Die American Academy of Environmental Medicine, in 'n 2009 Genetically Modified Foods Position Paper, het 'n moratorium op GE -voedsel gevra en gewaarsku dat 'GM -voedsel 'n ernstige gesondheidsrisiko inhou op die gebiede van toksikologie, allergie en immuunfunksie, reproduktiewe gesondheid en metaboliese , fisiologiese en genetiese gesondheid. ” In hierdie posstuk word dierstudies genoem wat dui op die gesondheidsrisiko's wat verband hou met GM voedselverbruik, soos onvrugbaarheid, immuun disregulering, versnelde veroudering, disregulering van gene wat verband hou met cholesterol sintese, insulien regulering, sel seine en proteïenvorming, en veranderinge in die lewer, niere, milt en spysverteringstelsel. "As gevolg van die toenemende gegewens, is dit biologies aanneemlik dat geneties gemodifiseerde voedsel nadelige gevolge vir die gesondheid by mense kan veroorsaak," lui die verslag en noem aanhalings vir talle eweknie-geëvalueerde studies as rugsteun.

Bt gifstof in menslike bloed. Onlangs, 'n studie wat aanvaar is vir publikasie in die tydskrif Reproductive Toxicology wat deur wetenskaplikes aan die Universiteit van Sherbrooke in Kanada gedoen is, meld die teenwoordigheid van Bt -gifstof, wat wyd in GE -gewasse gebruik word, in menslike bloed. Alhoewel wetenskaplikes en multinasionale ondernemings wat GE -gewasse bevorder, beweer het dat Bt -gifstof geen gevaar vir die menslike gesondheid inhou nie, aangesien die proteïen, Cry1Ab, in die menslike ingewande afbreek, toon die bevindinge uit hierdie studie dat dit nie gebeur nie. Dit is in plaas daarvan gevind dat dit in die bloed van swanger en nie-swanger vroue sirkuleer. Die studie het ook die gifstof in fetale bloed opgespoor. Cry1Ab-gifstof is onderskeidelik aangetref in 93 persent en 80 persent van moeder- en fetale bloedmonsters en in 69 persent van die getoetsde bloedmonsters van nie-swanger vroue.

GEBREK AAN ETIKETTERING
Alhoewel biotegnologiebelange dikwels beweer dat GE -gewasse nie 'n enkele geval van skade aan die menslike gesondheid of die omgewing veroorsaak het nie, is daar toenemende navorsing wat toon dat GE -gewasse nie onskadelik is nie, soos blyk uit die navorsing hierbo aangehaal. GE -voedsel is egter nie gemerk nie.

As gevolg hiervan het die Organic Trade Association en baie verbruikersgroepe al lank 'n beroep gedoen om GE -voedsel op die mark te merk. Maar hierdie kommer strek verder as verbruikers en organiese belange. In 2010, byvoorbeeld, het die Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA, wat ongeveer 8 300 dokters in elke graafskap in Indiana verteenwoordig) besluit dat dit wetgewing sal vra wat vereis dat voedsel wat geneties gemanipuleerde bestanddele bevat, duidelik gemerk moet word.

Die resolusie van ISMA, wat tydens sy jaarvergadering in 2010 bespreek is, het opgemerk dat 40 lande etikettering van GE -voedsel benodig, insluitend die Europese Unie, Australië, Japan, Rusland, Chia, Nieu -Seeland, Brasilië en Suid -Afrika. Boonop ondersteun die American Public Health Association, American Nurses Association, die British Medical Association en die Ierse Mediese Organisasie almal die etikettering van GE -voedselprodukte.

Intussen is die uitdaging vir verbruikers wat nie voedsel met GMOS wil eet nie, om te weet watter voedselprodukte hulle moet vermy. Die gewasse wat meestal geneties gemodifiseer is in die Verenigde State - sowel as die bestanddele daarvan - is mielies, sojabone, canola, suikerbiet en katoen. Dus, die volgende bestanddele op etikette, indien dit nie as nie-GMO of organies gemerk is, is waarskynlik geneties gemodifiseer.
• Mieliestroop, stysel, olie, meel, gluten
• Soja lesitien, proteïen, meel, isoleer en isoflavoon
• Suiker (tensy dit van riet gemaak word)
• Groente olie
• Katoenzaadolie

BEHOEFTE OM OPENBAAR TE WORD IN WETENSKAPLIKE OORSIG

Alhoewel genetiese gebeurtenisse deur kontrakte en analitiese toetse deur die verskaffingsketting opgespoor kan word, omdat GE -voedsel nie gemerk is nie, is dit nie maklik identifiseerbaar deur verbruikers op die mark nie. Boonop is die kontraktuele inligting, toetsresultate en genetiese inligting nie geredelik beskikbaar vir navorsers en wetenskaplikes nie. Dit beperk die vermoë om die omgewing- en openbare gesondheidsveiligheid oor tyd te beoordeel. As gepatenteerde produkte word die primers en geenvolgorde wat verband hou met GE -gewasgebeurtenisse nie maklik bekendgemaak nie - dit beperk onafhanklike wetenskaplike ondersoek baie. Verbod op land-toekenning universiteite wat navorsing doen oor GE-gewasgebeurtenisse sonder toestemming van patenthouers vererger die gebrek aan onafhanklike navorsing verder.

Daar is steeds nuwe bewyse van kommer oor die omgewing en volksgesondheid uit die aanvaarding van GMO's in die landbou.

Voedselallergie onder Amerikaanse kinders: neigings in voorkoms en hospitalisasies, Amy M. Branum en Susan L. Lukacs, Amerikaanse departement van gesondheid en menslike dienste, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oktober 2008 (http://www.cdc.gov/ nchs/data/databriefs/db10.pdf).

Pew -inisiatief oor voedsel en biotegnologie, ''n Oorsig van federale navorsing oor voedselallergie: implikasies vir geneties gemodifiseerde voedsel', 11 Junie 2002 (http://www.pewagbiotechn.org/research/allergy.pdf.)

"Die impak van geneties gemanipuleerde gewasse op die gebruik van plaagdoders in die Verenigde State: die eerste dertien jaar," deur Charles Benbrook

Jennifer L. Tank, Emma J. Rosi-Marshall, Todd V. Royer, Matt R. Whiles, Natalie A. Griffiths, Therese C. Frauendorf en David J. Treering, “Voorkoms van mieliedetritus en’ n transgeniese insekdodende proteïen (Cry1Ab ) binne die stroomnetwerk van 'n landbougrond, "PNAS 107 (41): 17645-17650 (12 Oktober 2010).

E.J. Rosi-Marshall, J.L. Tank, T.V. Royer, M.R. Whiles, M. Evans-White, C. Chambers, N.A. Griffiths, J. Pokelsek en M.L. Stephen, "Gifstowwe in transgeniese oesprodukte kan die ekosisteme van die waterstroom beïnvloed," PNAS 104 (41): 16204-16208 (9 Oktober 2007).

Meredith G. Schafer, Andrew X. Ross, Jason Londo, Connie A. Burdick, E. Henry Lee, Steven E. Travers, Peter K. Van de Water en Cynthia L. Sagers, navorsing gerapporteer by die 95th Ecological Society of America in Augustus 2010 (http://eco.confex.com/eco/2010/techprogram/P27199.HTM.

Science, 19 Maart 2010, “Hardy Cotton-Munching Pests are latest blow to GM Crops,” deur Pallava Bagla.

"Die impak van geneties gemanipuleerde gewasse op die volhoubaarheid van plase in die Verenigde State," The National Academies 'National Research Council, 2010.

Patrick J. Tranel, Chance W. Riggins, Michael S. Bell en Aaron G. Haber, "Onkruiddodersweerstand by amaranthus tuberculatus: 'n oproep vir nuwe opsies," Jouranl van landbou- en voedselchemie November 2010.

Artemis Dona & amp; Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis, "Gesondheidsrisiko's van geneties gemodifiseerde voedsel," Kritieke resensies in voedselwetenskap en voeding, Februarie 2009, bladsye 164-175).


27 groot voordele en nadele van geneties gemodifiseerde voedsel

Geneties gemodifiseerde (GM) voedsel is organismes wat nuwe gene van ander organismes by hulself laat voeg het. Sedert 1994, word dit vervaardig op 'n manier wat baie ooreenstem met genetiese ingenieurswese. Die tegniek wat in hierdie tipe gewasbestuur gebruik word, is ingestel om te verseker dat boere en handelaars die kwaliteit van die gewas of voedsel op 'n meer doeltreffende manier kan verbeter. Sommige mense beweer dat hierdie tegnologie mense in die landboubedryf sal help om die hoeveelheid vermorsde gewasse en voedsel te verminder. Alhoewel daar baie voordele van geneties gemodifiseerde voedsel is, is daar ook moontlike nadele. Hier is hul voor- en nadele:

Lys van voordele van geneties gemodifiseerde voedsel

1. Insekweerstand
Sommige GMO -voedsel is aangepas om dit meer bestand teen insekte en ander plae te maak. In 'n verslag van die Universiteit van Kalifornië in San Diego word gesê dat giftige bakterieë (maar tog veilig vir menslike gebruik) by gewasse gevoeg kan word om insekte af te weer. Dit beteken dat die hoeveelheid plaagdoderchemikalieë wat op die plante gebruik word, verminder, sodat die blootstelling aan gevaarlike plaagdoders ook verminder word.

2. Sterker gewasse
'N Ander voordeel wat vermoedelik GM -tegnologie inhou, is dat gewasse ontwerp kan word om uiterste weerstoestande en skommelinge te weerstaan, wat beteken dat daar goeie gehalte en voldoende opbrengste sal wees, selfs onder 'n swak of ernstige weerstoestand. Namate bevolkings regoor die wêreld groei en meer lande vir behuising in plaas van voedselproduksie aangewend word, word boere aangespoor om gewasse te verbou op plekke wat oorspronklik nie geskik is vir plantverbouing nie, en om plante te verbou wat 'n hoë soutinhoud in grond en grondwater kan weerstaan, Om nie te praat van lang periodes van droogte nie, sal hulle help om gesonde gewasse te kweek. Ook diere en plante wat geneties gemodifiseer is, kan meer bestand word teen onverwagte siekteprobleme. Ons kan die tegnologie net as 'n entstof vir die spesie beskou, behalwe dat dit in hul gene gekodeer word, eerder as om in hul immuunstelsel te word.

3. Groter produksie
Dit was makliker om gewasse wat as geneties gemodifiseer is, groot te maak omdat al hulle voorbeelde die sterkste vermoë het om plae te weerstaan. Hierdie eienskap help boere om groter hoeveelhede gewasse of voedsel te produseer.

4. Omgewingsbeskerming
Volgens 'n verslag van die Oklahoma State University verg die toename van GM -diere en gewasse dikwels minder tyd, gereedskap en chemikalieë, en kan dit help met die vermindering van kweekhuisgasse, gronderosie en omgewingsbesoedeling. Dit beteken dat die algemene gesondheid en skoonheid van die omgewing rondom plase verbeter sal word, wat bydra tot die behoud van beter water- en luggehalte, wat ook indirek die welsyn van elke persoon kan bevoordeel.

5. Uitgebreide beskerming vir gewasse
GM -voedsel is geskep met behulp van genetiese ingenieurswese - 'n tegnologie wat ontwerp is om te verseker dat gewasse nooit vinnig beskadig sal word nie. Met die metode kan boere en handelaars ook die goeie gehalte van voedsel doeltreffender bewaar deur spesiale stowwe te gebruik.

6. Meer voedsame kos
Volgens die Voedsel- en Landbou -organisasie van die Verenigde Nasies is sommige GM -voedsel ontwerp om voedsamer te word in terme van vitamien- of mineraalinhoud. Dit help mense nie net om die voedingstowwe te kry wat hulle nodig het nie, maar speel ook 'n belangrike rol in die stryd teen wanvoeding in lande van die derde wêreld. Trouens, die Verenigde Nasies beveel aan dat rys wat met vitamien A versterk is, kan help om die tekorte aan sulke voedingstowwe regoor die wêreld te verminder.

7. Verminderde gebruik van plaagdoders
It has been proven that genetically modified crops do not need pesticides to become stronger against various types of insects or pests that may destroy them.

8. More Income
With genetic engineering, farmers will have more income, which they could spend on important things, such as the education of their children for example.

9. Less Deforestation
To sufficiently feed the growing population of the world, deforestation is needed. But with genetically modified animals and crops, the use of this method will be minimized. This would decrease carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which would, in turn, slow global warming.

10. Decrease in Global Warming
As more plants and crops can be grown and at more areas, including those that were previously unsuitable for farming, oxygen in the environment is increased, decreasing the proportion of carbon dioxide and, in turn, reducing global warming. In fact, British economists noted in a study that genetically modified crops have made significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 10 million tons, which is equivalent to removing 5 million cars from the road each year. This means that people would not have to give up their vehicles.

11. Decrease in Food Prices
Due to higher yield and lower costs, food prices would go down. As people in poorer countries spend over half of their income on food alone, this means automatic reduction of poverty.

12. New Products
New kinds of crops are being developed to be grown at extreme climates, such as those present in dry or freezing environments. As an example, scientists have developed a new type of tomato that grows in salty soil. Another good discovery in genetic engineering of plants is the exclusion of the gene responsible for caffeine in coffee beans, creating decaffeinated coffee beans, which can then be grown naturally.

List of Disadvantages of Genetically Modified Foods

1. Allergic Reactions
According to research by the Brown University, resent genetically modified foods can pose significant allergy risks to people. It states that genetic modification often adds or mixes proteins that were not indigenous to the original animal or plant, which might cause new allergic reactions in our body. In some cases, proteins from organisms that you are allergic to might be added to organisms that you were not originally allergic to. This means your range of food choices will be lessened.

2. Not 100% Environmentally Friendly
Though it is claimed by many experts that genetically modified foods are safe for the environment, they actually still contain several kinds of substances that are not yet proven to be such. And what’s worse? These substances are remained hidden to the public.

3. Lower Level of Biodiversity
One big potential drawback of this technology is that some organisms in the ecosystem could be harmed, which in turn could lead to a lower level of biodiversity. When we remove a certain pest that is harmful to crops, we could also be removing a food source for a certain species. In addition, genetically modified crops could prove toxic to some organisms, which can lead to their reduced numbers or even extinction.

4. Decreased Antibiotic Efficacy
According to the Iowa State University, some genetically modified foods have antibiotic features that are built into them, making them resistant or immune to viruses or diseases or viruses. And when we eat them, these antibiotic markers will persist in our body and will render actual antibiotic medications less effective. The university also warns that ingestion of these foods and regular exposure to antibiotics may contribute to the reduced effectiveness of antibiotic drugs, as noticed in hospitals across the planet.

5. Unusual Taste
Genetically modified foods are observed to have unnatural tastes compared with the ordinary foods that are sold on the market. This could be the result of the substances that were added to their composition.

6. Not Totally Safe to Eat
It is proven by scientific studies that GMO foods contain substances that may cause diseases and even death to several kinds of species in this world, including us humans. For instance, mice and butterflies cannot survive with these foods.

7. Cross-Pollination
Cross-pollination can cover quite large distances, where new genes can be included in the offspring of organic, traditional plants or crops that are miles away. This can result in difficulty in distinguishing which crop fields are organic and which are not, posing a problem to the task of properly labeling non-GMO food products.

8. Gene Spilling
It is unclear what effects, if there are any, the genetic pollution resulting from inadequate sequestering of genetically modified crop populations would have on the wild varieties surrounding them. However, it is stressed that releasing pollen from genetically altered plants into the wild through the insects and the wind could have dramatic effects on the ecosystem, though there is yet long-term research to be done to gauge such impact.

9. Gene Transfer
Relevant to the previous disadvantage, a constant risk of genetically modified foods is that an organism’s modified genes may escape into the wild. Experts warn that genes from commercial crops that are resistant to herbicides may cross into the wild weed population, thus creating super-weeds that have become impossible to kill. For genetically enhanced vegetation and animals, they may become super-organisms that can out-compete natural plants and animals, driving them into extinction.

10. Conflicts
GMO foods can cause a lot of issues in the merchants’ daily life. Hoe? These products might encourage authorities to implement higher tariffs to merchants, who would be selling them.

11. Exploitations
Some countries may use genetic engineering of foods as a very powerful weapon against their enemies. It is important to note that some scientists have discovered that these products can kill a lot of individuals in the world by using harmful diseases.

12. Widening Gap of Corporate Sizes
This disadvantage can possibly happen between food-producing giants and their smaller counterparts, causing a consolidation in the market. There would be fewer competitors, which could increase the risk of oligopolies and food price increases. Moreover, larger companies might have more political power and might be able to influence safety and health standards.

13. New Diseases
As previously mentioned, genetically modified foods can create new diseases. Considering that they are modified using viruses and bacteria, there is a fear that this will certainly happen. This threat to human health is a worrisome aspect that has received a great deal of debate.

14. Food Supply at Risk
GMO seeds are patented products and, in order to purchase them, customers have to sign certain agreements for use with the supplier or creator. As the reliance on these seeds expands around the world, concerns about food supply and safety also continue to arise. Furthermore, these seeds structurally identical, and if a problem affects one of them, a major crop failure can occur.

15. Economic Concerns
Bringing a genetically modified food to market can be a costly and lengthy process, and of course, agricultural bio-technology companies want to ensure a profitable ROI. So, many new plant genetic engineering technologies and products have been patented, and patent infringement is a big concern within the agribusiness. Also, consumer advocates are worried that this will raise seed prices to very high levels that third-world countries and small farmers cannot afford them, thus widening the gap between the rich and the poor.

One way fight against possible patent infringement is introducing a “suicide gene” into GM animals and plants, which would be viable for only a single growing season and would produce sterile seeds that do not germinate, prompting farmers to buy a fresh supply of seeds every year. However, this would be financially disastrous for them, especially those in developing countries, who cannot afford to do this and traditionally set aside a portion of their harvest to plant in the next growing season.

Afsluiting

Genetically modified foods can potentially solve many hunger and malnutrition problems in the world, as well as help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yields and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides. However, it is important to proceed with caution to avoid unfavorable consequences for the surroundings and our health, considering that genetic engineering technology is very powerful.

Remember that there are really potential benefits and risks to these products, which you will learn further as you dig deeper into this subject. You can also read a brief fact sheet to familiarize yourself more with their purported benefits and problems. By doing so, you will be well-informed about these foods and the way they can affect your life.


Ethical arguments relevant to the use of GM crops

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCOB) has published two reports (1999 and 2004) on the social and ethical issues involved in the use of genetically modified crops. This presentation summarises their core ethical arguments. Five sets of ethical concerns have been raised about GM crops: potential harm to human health potential damage to the environment negative impact on traditional farming practice excessive corporate dominance and the 'unnaturalness' of the technology. The NCOB examined these claims in the light of the principle of general human welfare, the maintenance of human rights and the principle of justice. It concluded in relation to the issue of 'unnaturalness' that GM modification did not differ to such an extent from conventional breeding that it is in itself morally objectionable. In making an assessment of possible costs, benefits and risks, it was necessary to proceed on a case-by-case basis. However, the potential to bring about significant benefits in developing countries (improved nutrition, enhanced pest resistance, increased yields and new products) meant that there was an ethical obligation to explore these potential benefits responsibly, to contribute to the reduction of poverty, and improve food security and profitable agriculture in developing countries. NCOB held that these conclusions were consistent with any practical precautionary approach. In particular, in applying a precautionary approach the risks associated with the status quo need to be considered, as well as any risks inherent in the technology. These ethical requirements have implications for the governance of the technology, in particular mechanisms for enabling small-scale farmers to express their preferences for traits selected by plant breeders and mechanisms for the diffusion of risk-based evaluations.


Turkey’s Long, Painful Economic Crisis Grinds On

ARHAVI, Turkey — The terraced rows of tea plants climbing the hills above the Black Sea used to glint like money. Lately, they look like another casualty of Turkey’s long, grinding economic crisis.

Lipton, the multinational giant, recently scrapped production at one of its three tea-processing factories in the area. It has slashed purchases of tea from local farmers, depressing commerce in surrounding towns and villages.

“Everything is connected,” laments the mayor of Arhavi, Vasfi Kurdoglu. “The Lipton factory closure is the worst thing that has happened. It has hit everyone — food stores, bakers, truck drivers who carry tea from here to Istanbul. We are going through a very hard time.”

More than a year after the onset of an economic calamity that has shaken the once-indomitable hold of Turkey’s strongman president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, this nation of 80 million people remains stuck in uncomfortable proximity to crisis.

Beeld

The latest indication came on Monday, as the Turkish currency, the lira, surrendered more than 3 percent of its value against the dollar in early trading in Asia before slightly recovering. The drop followed Mr. Erdogan’s abrupt dismissal of the nation’s central bank governor on Saturday. Global investors absorbed the sacking as a signal that Mr. Erdogan is intent on recklessly lowering interest rates to accelerate economic growth, like a debt-saturated homeowner who resorts to a second mortgage rather than accepting a budget.

Turkey has avoided the meltdown that seemed possible last summer when the lira plunged precipitously, but safety is remote. The palpable threat of imminent collapse has given way to a sense of muddling through as the government unleashes credit to defer an inevitable reckoning. Meanwhile, anyone with money stashes it away in the face of gnawing fears, depriving the economy of vitality.

Turkey’s currency remains battered, while its foreign debts remain vast. Inflation and joblessness are alarmingly high. Economic growth is minimal, and anxiety considerable amid the sense that more trouble lies ahead.

This is playing out as Turkey contends with political uncertainty after the shocking rebuke of Mr. Erdogan’s ruling party in the recent Istanbul mayoral election. A president with a reputation for ignoring unpalatable facts, or thrashing those who wield them, now appears at the mercy of forces he cannot command: international markets.

For Mr. Erdogan, all available choices entail peril.

Most economists maintain that he must accept interest rates above the now-stultifying level of 24 percent to dissuade investors from abandoning Turkey. That should prevent the lira from falling further, limiting inflation. But it would also deprive businesses of capital, yielding bankruptcy and joblessness, while constraining economic growth.

Mr. Erdogan has consistently opted for growth at any cost. He has famously argued that high interest rates cause inflation, which is like blaming abstinence for a hangover. He fired the central bank chief precisely because he refused to lower rates, according to reports in Turkey.

All signs now point to Mr. Erdogan’s forcing interest rates lower, while pumping credit to Turkish businesses and households. That should spur spending and economic growth, but at the cost of remaining faith in the currency, yielding more inflation and bank losses that risk eventually exploding into a full-blown crisis.

“It’s all coming apart,” says Fadi Hakura, a Turkey expert at Chatham House, a research institution in London. “The government is so wedded to this consumption model this will ultimately lead to an economic breakdown.”

During his 16 years in power, Mr. Erdogan has proved a maestro of economic growth, using influence over the financial apparatus to steer credit to his cronies in the construction industry. They have erected monuments in his honor — a new Istanbul airport, high-rise office towers, and an ever-expanding trove of shopping malls and resorts.


Afsluiting

Taking everything into consideration, GM crops are alive they can migrate and spread worldwide. In this regard, clear signals should be sent to biotech companies to proceed with caution and avoid causing unintended harm to human health and the environment. It is widely believed that it is the right of consumers to demand mandatory labeling of GM food products, independent testing for safety and environmental impacts, and liability for any damage associated with GM crops. We are aware that many regulatory laws already exist for risk assessments which are performed on three levels of impacts on Agriculture (gene flow, reducing biodiversity), Food and Food safety (allergenicity, toxicity), and Environment (including non target organism) And at the same time, in recent years Cartagena protocol has created laws and guidelines and has obliged countries and companies to obey them for production, handling and consumption of GM materials. In this article, we have not reviewed the regulatory issues involved in GMFs production. However, we are certain that the interested readers will follow the debates on GMFs and the related regulatory issues in the years to come.


Abstract

Since the commercialization of transgenic glyphosate-tolerant (GT) crops in the mid-1990s, glyphosate has become the dominant herbicide to control weeds in corn, soybean, and other crops in the United States and elsewhere. However, recent public concerns over its potential carcinogenicity in humans have generated calls for glyphosate-restricting policies. Should a policy to restrict glyphosate use, such as a glyphosate tax, be implemented? The decision involves two types of tradeoffs: human health and environmental (HH-E) impacts versus market economic impacts, and the use of glyphosate versus alternative herbicides, where the alternatives potentially have more serious adverse HH-E effects. Accounting for farmers’ weed management choices, we provide empirical evaluation of the HH-E welfare and market economic welfare effects of a glyphosate use restriction policy on US corn production. Under a glyphosate tax, farmers would substitute glyphosate for a combination of other herbicides. Should a 10% glyphosate tax be imposed, then the most conservative welfare estimate is a net HH-E welfare gain with a monetized value of US$6 million per annum but also a net market economic loss of US$98 million per annum in the United States, which translates into a net loss in social welfare. This result of overall welfare loss is robust to a wide range of tax rates considered, from 10 to 50%, and to multiple scenarios of glyphosate’s HH-E effects, which are the primary sources of uncertainties about glyphosate’s effects.


Genetically Modified Food

Margaret R. McLean

This talk was delivered at the conference "The Future of Food: Legal and Ethical Challenges," held at Santa Clara University April 15, 2005.

Let's begin with a pop quiz—True or False:

  1. All plants contain genes.
  2. Only genetically modified plants contain genes.
  3. Plants can be modified to contain animal genes.
  4. A tomato containing a jellyfish gene would taste like squid.
  5. Genetically modified foods are available at Safeway.
  6. I have never eaten a genetically modified food.

The answers are true, false, true, false, true, and . . . .most likely, false. The truth is that we have been eating genetically modified (GM) foods for a decade. About 75 percent of processed food that is produced in the United States contains some GM ingredients. This includes crackers, breakfast cereals, and cooking oils. Almost everything that contains soy or corn—including the nearly ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup—has been genetically modified.

Humans were modifying crops long before the advent of genetics and "modern" biotechnology. Once humans began to practice settled agriculture some 8000 years ago, they selected which plants to plant, grow, and harvest-first choosing from the wild and then from cultivated crops. These first farmers chose plants that grew well en demonstrated resistance to disease, pests, and shifting weather patterns. Ever since, farmers have bred, crossed, and selected plant varieties that were productive and useful. These age-old techniques can now be complemented, supplemented, and perhaps supplanted by an assortment of molecular "tools" that allow for the deletion or insertion of a particular gene or genes to produce plants (animals and microorganisms) with novel traits, such as resistance to briny conditions, longer "shelf-life," or enhanced nutrient content. A change in a plant's genetic sequence changes the characteristics of the plant. Such manipulation of genes—genetic engineering—results in a genetically modified organism or GMO.

Both "traditional" biotechnology and "modern" biotechnology result in crops with combinations of genes that would not have existed absent human intervention. A drought-resistant crop can be developed through "traditional" methods involving crosses with resistant varieties, selection, and backcrossing. Modern biotechnology can speed up this process by identifying the particular genes associated with drought resistance and inserting them directly. Whether developed through traditional or modern means, the resultant plants will resist drought conditions but only the second, genetically engineered one, is a GMO or, if meant for human consumption, a GMF.

Genetic engineering has both sped up the process of developing crops with "enhanced" or new characteristics and allowed for the transfer of genes from one organism to another, even from great evolutionarily distances, such as the insertion of a gene from an African frog into rhododendrons to confer enhanced resistance to root rot. Moving genes between species creates transgenic plants and crops.

Importantly, genetic engineering is not the whole of agricultural biotechnology, which also includes techniques such as tissue and cell culture. This conference primarily concerns itself with a small piece of agricultural biotechnology, the genetic engineering of food crops.

The most commonly grown GM food crops are those that have been engineered to withstand herbicide spraying (e.g., Roundup Ready soybeans and corn) or to produce substances toxic to insects (e.g., Bt corn). Crops that can tolerate herbicides have been an economic success story—approximately 80 percent of the U.S. market in soybeans and cotton is in plants that can withstand the popular herbicide Roundup.

To date, most of the development of GM crops—dubbed "first generation crops"—has been aimed at benefiting the farmers' bottom line—increasing yields, resisting pests and disease, and decreasing the use of herbicides. Over 80 percent of the soybeans and 40 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Worldwide, close to a billion acres are planted in GM crops, mostly corn and soy for animal consumption.

The first GM food produced was the Flavr Savr tomato in 1994, touted for its flavor and long shelf life. Interestingly, the Flavr Savr tomato did not contain an alien gene rather, a gene normally present in the tomato was blocked so that a normal protein involved in ripening was not produced giving the tomato a longer shelf life and, theoretically, better flavor. It failed to attract consumers.

Despite the tomato's flop, so-called "second generation" crops will once day line supermarket shelves. These include products such as Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybeans with reduced trans fats and increased heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats Syngenta's StayRipe banana, which ripens slowly and has a prolonged shelf life potatoes and peanuts less liable to trigger life-threatening allergic reactions and tomatoes that help prevent cancer and osteoporosis (Stokstad, Eric: "Monsanto Pulls the Plug on Genetically Modified Wheat," Science 304:1088, 2004 Associated Press: "Americans Clueless about Gene-altered Foods," MSNBC.com, March 26, 2005).

Also in the pipeline are GM crops designed to produce pharmaceuticals, so-called "pharma crops." Last year, the California Rice Commission advised the state Food and Agriculture Department to allow Ventria Bioscience of Sacramento to grow 50 hectares of GM rice near San Diego. Ventria planned to grow two types of rice modified with synthetic human genes-one to make human lactoferrin to treat anemia and the second to produce lysozyme to treat diarrhea (Dalton, Rex: "California Edges towards Farming Drug-producing Rice," Nature 428: 591, 2004). Anemia and diarrhea plague children under 5 in developing countries. But the California Food and Agriculture Department denied Ventria's request after rice growers expressed concern that international customers would refuse their rice out of fear of contamination. Earlier this week (4/12/05), brewer Anheuser-Busch threatened to boycott rice from Missouri if Ventria is allowed to set up its "biopharming" practices there. Again, the concern is the potential that the GM rice could cross-pollinate other crops and introduce foreign genes and proteins into the human food chain.

INB Biotechnologies (Philadelphia) is developing a nontoxic anthrax vaccine through the transgenic modification of petunias, causing the plant to manufacture new proteins, which when eaten prompt the development of anti-anthrax antibodies. So, instead of "eat your peas," the imperative will be to "eat your petunias!"

The advent of GM crops provides new opportunities for increasing agricultural production and productivity, enhancing nutritional value, developing and delivering pharmaceuticals and vaccines, and feeding the world. But, it is far from easy sailing for GM foods in light of the public concern for associated risks—risks to human and animal health risks to biodiversity and the environment—and intermittent consumer outrage at not knowing if "the breakfast of champions" has had a genetic boost or not. GM foods are not labeled as such and the industry game of "I've Got a Secret" has bred distrust among consumers and fuels an inherent skepticism about the safety of GM foods.

A common approach to thinking about the ethics of the genetic engineering of food crops and the appropriate regulatory environment is by evaluating safety and weighing potential risks and benefits.

The risk side of the ledger includes (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations):

First are potential risks to the environment and wildlife.

Genes may "escape" and find their way into other members of the species or other species. Imagine the trouble if herbicide-resistant genes found their way into weeds.

GM crops could compete or breed with wild species threatening biodiversity.

Monogenetic crops may not react sufficiently to environmental stresses, posing the danger of an reenactment of Ireland's potato famine.

What are the risks to birds, insects and other non-target species that come into contact with or consume GM plants?

Second are potential risks to human health.

There is the potential that allergy-producing genes will be inserted into unrelated foodstuffs. Since GM foods are not labeled, a person could suffer a potentially fatal allergic reaction, e.g., an allergenic Brazil nut gene was transferred to a soybean variety, but the resultant modified crop was never released to the public.

GM products may inadvertently enter the human food supply as evidenced by the settlement earlier this month between Syngenta and the U.S. government over the accidental sale of unapproved GM (Bt10) corn seed to farmers.

Third are potential socio-economic effects.

Small-scale farmers could be negatively impacted by the market dominance of a few powerful seed companies. Some worry about the potential loss of traditional farming practices such as collecting, storing, and replanting seed.

The proprietary nature of biotechnology may slow basic research, and patent protection may hinder the entry of GM foods into developing countries as has been the case with pharmaceuticals.

Fourth is the potential risk to public trust generated in part by industry refusal to label GM foods as such.

The benefit side of the ledger stresses:

First, there are potential benefits to agricultural productivity through the development of crops more resistant to pests, disease, and severe weather, decreasing the risk of devastating crop failure.

Second are potential benefits to the environment including:

Improved productively could result in more food from less land and a decreasing reliance on the cultivation of marginal land.

Genetically engineered pest and disease resistance could reduce the need for pesticides and other chemicals, thereby decreasing the environmental load and farmer exposure to toxins.

The potential longer shelf life of fruits and vegetables could decrease the gross wastage associated with transportation and storage.

Third are potential benefits to human health and wellbeing.

Genetic engineering could be used to remove genes associated with allergies, e.g., the blocking of the gene that produces the allergenic protein in peanuts.

The insertion of genes into crops such as rice and wheat can enhance their nutritional value, e.g., Golden Rice.

Genetic modification could be used to produce healthier foods, e.g., by eliminating trans fats or caffeine for example.

Genetic engineering could be used to develop pharmaceuticals and vaccines in plants, decreasing the risk of adverse reactions and enabling faster vaccination of large populations.

Although weighing risks and benefits is necessary, it is neither easy nor the sole concern in considering the ethics of agricultural biotechnology. Certainly, both human wellbeing and environmental safety are of primary concern but our ethical obligations are not discharged solely by a guarantee of some degree of protection from harm, as important as that is. We also must be concerned with justice and the common good—raising concerns about human and environmental sustainability and the just distribution of nutritious food en acknowledging the need for thoughtful regulation that addresses necessary human and environmental protections while pursuing benefit. Such a task might well begin with a good dose of humility.

And so, we approach the "future of food" and the questions we have before us today:

Should we have genetically modified foods?

And, since we do, how ought they be regulated?

How do we weigh values and risk in biotechnology?

And, finally, is the genetic modification of food necessary to relieve world hunger?


Kyk die video: News5E l GENETICALLY MODIFIED NA PAGKAIN, DAPAT NGA BANG TANGKILIN? l REAKSYON


Kommentaar:

  1. Oran

    'n bekoorlike antwoord

  2. Mooguk

    Dankie vir die inligting. Ek het dit nie geweet nie.

  3. Langdon

    Ek het 'n soortgelyke situasie. Forumuitnodiging.

  4. Akinojind

    Presies! Die goeie idee, dit stem saam met jou.

  5. Egomas

    Ek kan aanbeveel dat u 'n webwerf besoek met 'n groot aantal artikels oor 'n onderwerp wat u interesseer.



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